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you can also have a look on the 'public' thoughts about mail-art that are online:

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 15 , 16 , 17 , 18

or have a look at the other secret thoughts online:

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 .

SECRET THOUGHTS ABOUT MAIL ART - PART-3

BY RUUD JANSSEN

This is the third list of thoughts that are supposed to be secret.

© TAM-PUBLICATIONS

Reproduction of this text is allowed provided that the text isn't changed, source is mentioned, and a copy of the magazine where the text is included in, is sent to TAM.

30-11-1997 : The internet and the e-mail are just new communication-forms added to the wide spectrum that is available to the mail artists. Some projects on the internet are interesting for the "analog" world as well. Charles François from Belgium has a nice experiment going. On the homepage VTCAM.HTM he has a camera that is submiting new images every 2 minutes. A strong aspect of the internet: speed and quick distribuion of information.

Another nice example of what is going on at the internet is what Honoria is doing. She has already her CYBEROPERA going online, and is now researching the effect the use of Internet and e-mail has on e-mail. Her research will eventually end up in a Ph.D. , and everybody with both mail-art and internet experience is asked to help her. Her research will be put online while it is building, so ask her for details!

Yes, the interesting aspects of the internet are the speed and change. Too many mail-artists have put up their homepages and they have sometimes become static images, where the mail artists present themselves and their work. It is like in a museum, and I believed that that was what mail artists didn't like too much. Mail art is a living art.......

18-11-1997 : Back home from work I had a look at some of the online- discussions that are going on at the internet. One message by H.R. Fricker (Switzerland) was interesting. He wondered on the Assembly on Artistamps (currated by Jas W. Felter from Canada) where all the reactions from the mail art network are.... I sent a reply on the assembly, and after that I thought more on the subject. The older generation of mail artists isn't online (yet?) And most of them aren't too much interested on getting online. There are the exeptions, but only a few names I keep seeing on the online discussions (at my own discussion e.g. Jas W. Felter , Joost Foucquet , Honoria , Marie Snell , Mr. Brown , GeOrge Brett , Andrej Tisma , Ayah Okwabi and myself). The Internet isn't open for all and only the "select" group that has computer/modem/account and the time and money to afford the contact , are taking part. And even this group only takes part selectively on the "mail art items", since the internet offers a weath on other subjects as well. The internet tempts you to enter all those outer corners of that cyberspace to find the most unknown things. But after surfing the internet, I am always glad that I can talk to a human being insetad of sitting behind a computer-screen. All is accesible at the internet, but still surfing is a lonely business and I don't like to do it too much. People are more interesting then Machines (are they?)

17-11-1997 : Vittore Baroni's ARTE POSTALE arrived. A well done book indeed with lots of interesting visuals for me. The text is completely done in italian language, so that is something I can't read. For the Italian part of the mail art network it will be a valuable piece of work. Vittore arranged the book in chapters in which he describes the various aspects of the mail art network. With these chapters he also writes special articles about certain networkers who work a lot in that specific field. Many old and new illustrations are used in the book, and because of the many names I know, the book still give a hint on what Vittore is writing in that italian language. Also He and Piermario promis to write more books on the subject mail art when the book sells well enough. A nice thought indeed.

08-11-1997 : Today, a saturday, a lot of snail-mail at my P.O.Box. Lucky enough also a new subscriber for the mail-interview project , so that a bit of money I put into this project comes back. Another nice surprise was from Bernd Reichert in Belgium, who reacted to my THOUGHTS about MAIL-ART #17 , the version that I have put online only, and that isn't sent like the other ones, into the network. I already reacted to his reaction by adding a small piece to THOUGHTS #17 so people can read what he wrote as well. As it looks now I will be busy with answering some of the snail-mail. The e-mail has become quite boring lately. Lots of advertising, and messages without any real content.......

05-11-1997 : Today is a Wednesday. For most people a normal day, but for me in this specific year it is the day I can work at home and don't have to go to work. Because I knew that I prepared a lot of things yesterday-evening, and this morning I went to the copy-shop to print two new interviews. The first one with Julie Paquette (ex posto facto , home of the fluxus bucks) from USA , which was finished end of 1996. I waited with publishing since Michael Harfort wanted to publish the interview in his magazine mailbox , but that never happened. The interview was already online for some time, but the booklet version always has an extra di mension since the artifacts from the communication-process are used to illustrate the interview. For Julie's interview that worked out quite well, and I even designed a special fluxus buck which I will include with the interviews. The second interview was with Ibirico from Spain, which was finished some months ago. I just finished making the booklets ready for sending, and the first batch (of course to the subscribers) is sent away only 15 minutes ago. The work of a mail-artist is always hard work. The publishing of the booklets always is a costly one, and for the 7 subscribers I don't have to do it. Lucky enough I always get those possitive reacti ons that keep me motivated to go on. The serie contains over 40 interviews now and grows and grows.

01-11-1997 : November already, time sure goes fast. Already mail artists started to prepare their projects for this millenium. The year 2000 has something magical to it, and I imagine that a lot of mail artists wil try do do some kind of special mail art project. For me it could be the deadline for finishing my mail-interview project , but nothing is for sure yet.

So far only few reactions on these secret thoughts from the network. If someone even takes the trouble to read them, there aren't many reactions to them. But that is o.k. Somehow I am documenting my life quite well, but I am not sure what the purpose is of all that. A lot of words go around the world on this internet. Also the Assembly on MAIL ART is going well. almost 50 reactions from mail artists are there, and I am trying to print out most of them. Since this digital information has a relative short time of existence it is needed to document things when it is worth saving. This is the first online discussion I arranged, so I will do so. Another reason is that the memory is limited to 100 messages that are saved. So when more people participate in the discussion, eventually the old information will vanish from the internet. Typical of the digital world. All old stuff will be difficult to find back, since backups tend to get stored away so good, that when you want to read it back, the hardware isn't there anymore. Example : how am I supposed to read my 5,25 inch diskettes when there are hardly any of those computers left out there?

In principle these thoughts are online only. But maybe I might distribute some prints via snail-mail. You, as a reader, can do the same as well, and you are even encouraged to do so, or to publish these secrets. What more fun is there to do then publish secrets?

copyright TAM 1997 reactions to : tam@dds.nl


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